Earlier today, the folks behind XBMC (Xbox Media Center) announced that they will be bringing a full-fledged version of XBMC to Android. The full-fledged version is not going to be a remote or thin client, but a full XBMC install. This will allow users to convert any of their Android powered device into a full-fledged media client.
The developer of XBMC did not announce as to when they would release the app into the Play Store since it’s “not quite ready for prime-time”, but did mention that it the source-code of the app is already available online. The developers were also planning on releasing apks for interested beta testers in the “coming weeks.”
However, it looks like someone has managed to get his hands on the XMBC APK or has compiled one himself and uploaded it online for all Android owners to enjoy. Keep in mind that the app is not even in beta stage, so some issues and bugs are to be expected. The leaked XBMC APK can be downloaded from here or here.
The app took sometime to start on my Galaxy Nexus running Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean, but has worked without any issues after that. The developers will hopefully also work on improving the theme of the app in future versions, since right now the UI is not that touch-friendly.
Update: The APK has in fact been compiled by the folks over at Miniand Forums, and is not a leak.
Do you have an extra Android device lying around? If so, you can now turn it into a full fledged XBMC media center for your TV. Today, XBMC announced that a full XBMC player will be heading to the Google Play store as soon as it’s out of beta. As of now, interested beta testers can request apk’s. For clarification, the version of XBMC that is coming to Android isn’t a remote or other thin client, but an actual install of XBMC. XBMC will run on any Android device including phones, media players, set top boxes and tablets. You do not need to root your Android device to install or use XBMC.
If you’re unaware, XBMC is a popular, free and open-source media center platform which can run on many different devices including Macs, PCs and jailbroken iOS devices (including the Apple TV). XBMC was originally released for the original Microsoft Xbox, hence the original name “Xbox Media Center”. XBMC supports a ton of different audio and video file types and can even run third-party apps and plug-ins.
If you’re an Android user, will you be using XBMC on your device? Or would you rather buy a dedicated set top box like the Apple TV or Roku? Let us know by leaving a comment on this post!
XBMC is an excellent choice for a media player. It can be setup on your home-theater PC; it has support for a range of remotes and it is free and open source. XBMC was released back in 2003, and it has seen active development over the last eight years. The skinning engine of XBMC is state of the art, and XBMC supports audio files too. Overall, it is the perfect jukebox and home theater software, whether you are music or movie enthusiast.
The current stable version of XBMC is “Dharma“. XBMC has recently released a beta version of their next major release XBMC 11 codenamed “Eden” for this holiday season. This release is still in testing and will reach the final release in a few months.
This Eden release has sparked a long discussion on the XBMC forum. It seems that Eden still does not have HD audio support, which can be disappointing for audiophiles. However, it is speculated that the next release Frodo has a better chance of including HD audio support.
XBMC is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Apple TV and as a live ISO. You can learn more about XBMC here. If you want to try out XBMC 11.0 Beta 1, links can be found at this download page. Ubuntu users have to use the XBMC Unstable PPA; Windows users can download the file “xbmc-11.0-Eden_beta1.exefrom this directory, iOS users can find upgrade instructions here. However, for live ISO users, there will not be a beta release.